Tim Miller reflects on one of Ashtanga’s Western greats
Brad Ramsey, one of the first Western Ashtanga teachers — and one of the real bringers of Ashtanga to the United States — passed away on Sept. 25.
You may have seen notice of this on Facebook. We did, but we weren’t able to find something really substantial, 100% trustworthy. You don’t want to pronounce someone gone based on even the most credible of Facebook posts.
Well, Tim Miller now has reflected on Brad and his passing, and so I point you to Tim’s latest blog post:
He was a teacher of great commitment, depth and sincerity. He was always kind, patient and compassionate. Brad gave me the tools to become a better architect of my own destiny—asana to purify, strengthen and stretch the body; pranyama to still the mind; and mantra and bhajan to open the heart. He was a wonderful singer and guitarist and led kirtans where he would bring us deeply into the heart of Bhakti, which he always said was the quickest path to God in Kali Yuga.
Brad was kind enough to make me a neti string and initiate me in the practice under much more hygienic conditions when he returned from India. Before Brad left for India I asked who would be teaching in his absence. “You,” he said. Thanks for all you gave me, Brad, you will always be in my heart.
Brad was Tim’s teacher for his first three years — and thus we also need to pause for a moment and recognize Brad’s presence in the parampara of our — Bobbie and my — teacher lineage. I also can’t help but notice Tim’s several mentions of Brad’s stiffness and accompanying willfulness not to let it stop him.
I may have a better understanding of why Tim insists I get my thigh lower in warrior poses, why he often greets me with, “Ah, still stiff.” He’s not going to let that stop me, because he saw it not stop Brad Ramsey.
And for that, I can offer a thank you to Brad, as well. For giving us our teacher and many other things.
Posted by Steve